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Lungwort lichen

Lobaria pulmonaria


It is a foliose lichen and its leaf-like thallus is green, leathery and lobed with a pattern of ridges and depressions on the upper surface. Bright green under moist conditions, it becomes brownish and papery when dry. This species often has a fine layers of hairs, a tomentum, on its lower surface. The cortex, the outer protective layer on the thallus surface, is roughly comparable to the epidermis of a green plant. The thallus is typically 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) in diameter, with individual lobes 1–3 centimetres (0.39–1.18 in) wide and up to 7 cm long.[4] The asexual reproductive structures soredia and isidia are present on the thallus surface. Minute (0.5–1.5 mm in diameter) cephalodia—pockets of cyanobacteria—are often present on the lower surface of the thallus; these spots are conspicuously darker than the green surface of the thallus.[5] Like other foliose lichens, the thallus is only loosely attached to the surface on which it grows. Photobionts[edit] The thallus contains internal structures known as cephalodia, characteristic of three-membered lichen symbioses involving two photobionts (the photosynthetic symbionts in the fungal-algal lichen relationship). These internal cephalodia, found between the "ribs" of the thallus surface, arise when blue-green algae (from the genus Nostoc) on the thallus surface are enveloped during mycobiont growth.[6] Structurally, cephalodia consist of dense aggregates of Nostoc cells surrounded by thin-walled hyphae—this delimits them from the rest of the thallus which contains a loose structure of thick-walled hyphae.[7] Blue-green cyanobacteria can fix atmospheric nitrogen, enhancing nutrient availability for the lichen. The other photobiont of L. pulmonaria is the green algae Dictyochloropsis reticulata.[8]-Wikipedia


Found along a trail in a maple, fir and cedar dominate forest.


The third pic is the back side of the same one.

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Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck 7 years ago

Awesome organism(s)! Congrats.

Brian38 7 years ago

Thank you for mentioning that. That's actually the back side of the same one.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 7 years ago

Congrats Brian. The 'dry' one looks great too.

Brian38 7 years ago

Thank you very much Daniele. This is the first of this kind of lichen that I have found. I will certainly be looking for the lungwort lichen now that i'm aware of it.

DanielePralong 7 years ago

Congratualtions Brian, your Lungwort lichen is our Spotting of the Day!

"Three organisms in one! This Lungwort lichen (Lobaria pulmonaria) is our Spotting of the Day! Lichens are a symbiotic association of a fungus with photosynthetic partners, which are called photobionts and can be green algae or cyanobacteria. In Lobaria pulmonaria, the primary photobiont is a green alga called Symbiochloris reticulata, but the lichen also contains a cyanobacteria, which is responsible for fixing atmospheric nitrogen and contributing to the lichen's growth. This lichen is sensitive to air pollution, changing habitat structure and woodland management, and is declining in many parts of the world".


Spotted by

Washington, USA

Spotted on Apr 20, 2017
Submitted on Apr 21, 2017

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